3.3 Million Ex-smokers Missing Out On Potential 46% Saving On Life Insurance Premiums

24 January 2011

Around 3.3 million ex-smokers in the UK are collectively paying £316 million more a year on life insurance premiums than they need to because they haven’t informed their policy provider they have quit, according to new research by Sainsbury’s Life Insurance(1). The supermarket bank, which offers life cover from as little as £5 a month(4), is urging life insurance policy holders to inform their provider if they have kicked the habit, as they could save an average of 46% on their premiums(3).

The findings(2) reveal that around 6.5 million life insurance policy holders gave up smoking more than 12 months ago and haven’t used nicotine replacement products in the past year, therefore could be eligible to be classified as non-smokers by a life insurance provider. However, shockingly more than half of these people (51%) haven’t informed their provider.

Research(3) commissioned by Sainsbury’s Life Insurance across a range of different profiles reveals that the average smoker’s annual life insurance premium is £209.76 compared with £113.88 for non-smoker’s, a difference of £95.88. This means that collectively, these people could be paying £316 million a year more than they need to in life insurance premiums(1).

Andrew Gray, Sainsbury’s Life Insurance Product Manager, said: “A huge number of people have quit smoking over the past few years and the health benefits of not smoking are now very well-known, but the financial gains are often underestimated.  Apart from the obvious savings you can make from not buying cigarettes, your life insurance premium could decrease as you are demonstrating that you’ve made efforts towards living a healthier lifestyle.

“If you gave up smoking more than 12 months ago and haven’t used any nicotine replacement products in that time, you could qualify as a non-smoker. Therefore, now is the time to notify your life insurance provider, or if you don’t have a policy, it’s a good time to shop around for one, and make sure you declare how long you have given up smoking for when you’re applying for a policy – whether it’s your first ever policy or if you’re simply switching providers.”

The findings(2) reveal that 2% of all adults, around 1.1 million people, intended to quit smoking as a New Year’s resolution this year, and a further 5%, around 2.3 million people, intend to give up a later stage in 2011.

Over 1.6 million people say they have quit smoking in the past year, with over a million of these saying they haven’t used nicotine replacement products in the past 12 months and the remainder having relied on them to some extent(2).

Sainsbury’s Finance is urging people to be aware of the benefits of having life insurance and if they don’t have a policy, to start considering what level of cover they should invest in to ensure peace of mind that their loved ones are financially secure, should the unthinkable happen.

Andrew said: “Life insurance is one of the most important financial products you can buy, and it’s crucial that you have adequate cover to suit your individual circumstances, especially if you have dependants. People should ideally review their premiums regularly like they might their motor or home insurance, particularly if their circumstances change.”

Life insurance premiums, through Sainsbury’s Finance, which start from as little as £5 a month (which is 16p per day)(4), are among the most competitive available and regularly appear in best-buy tables.

Customers should ensure that their chosen plan will meet their needs before they apply, and should then contact Sainsbury’s Finance for a quote or further information on 0800 027 7166 (calls may be monitored and recorded). Further information is also available at or at Sainsbury’s supermarkets. Sainsbury’s Finance does not offer financial advice.


For further information, please contact:

Ian Morris/Georgiana Brunner
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
020 7638 9571

Notes to Editors:

(1) Sainsbury’s Life Insurance analysis of (2) and (3)
 Opinium research conducted among 1864 adults, 6th-7th January 2011
(3) Moneyfacts was commissioned to review whole of market life insurance premiums (level term only) for 38 different risk profiles in October 2010.
(4) Sainsbury’s Finance Life Cover (Level Term Assurance and Mortgage Decreasing Term Assurance) is provided by Legal & General Assurance Society Limited. The cost of life cover will depend on the customer’s age, term of the policy, options selected and state of health.

Sainsbury’s Finance:

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Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Finance provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times.  Our products consistently top Best Buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.

Sainsbury’s Finance recent awards include Best Overall Online Provider, Best Direct Personal Loans Provider, Best Online Credit Card Provider, Best Online Life Insurance Provider, Your Money 2010

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